John Girard
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John Baker Girard

October 20, 1943 - February 8, 2015

Dr. John Baker Girard died on February 8 at the age of 71. He passed away at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, where he had spent nearly 40 years practicing obstetrics and gynecology, delivering babies and caring for patients. His medical practice, colleagues and beloved patients were central to Dr. Girard's life and happiness, as were his family and friends. Dr. Girard had a calming disposition, acute sensitivity and love for unabashed, untamed laughter, which he always believed to be the best medicine.

Alongside his late wife Katie Rose, Dr. Girard dedicated his passion and livelihood to the Alta Bates community and women and infant care. Dr. Girard played a key role in bringing a group of truly outstanding Obstetricians/ Gynecologists to Alta Bates; he was the senior partner of Berkeley - Orinda Women's Health Group before becoming a founding partner of East Bay Physicians Medical Group, working with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation in 2005. During his tenure at Alta Bates, Dr. Girard also served as OB/GYN Department Chairman and Medical Staff President.

Dr. Girard married his first wife Nancy JoAnn Lyke of Arcadia, California in 1967. The couple moved to Piedmont in 1974 where they raised their four children Danielle (Mrs. Christopher Kraus), Nicole (Mrs. Blake Kennedy), Thomas and Stephen.

In 2006, Dr. Girard married longtime Alta Bates colleague Katie Rose. Dr. Girard is survived by his four children as well as his twin brother, Dr. Donald Girard, and four grandchildren Claire and Jack Kraus, and Luke and William Kennedy.

Gifts in memory of Dr. Girard can be given to the Women and Infants Fund at Alta Bates Summit Foundation, 2855 Telegraph Ave Ste 601, Berkeley, CA 94705 or online at betterhealtheastbay.org/girard.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Feb. 12 to Feb. 15, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by His loving children: Danielle, Nicole, Tom & Steve
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65 entries
January 18, 2020
With loving memories of the kind and wonderful man who delivered our children, the second one twenty eight years ago this morning! Forever in our hearts!
Karen and Fred Bailey
March 31, 2017
How can I write about this magnificent man. I moved away from the Bay area and just recently returned. I wanted to see him again, as he was my life line through so much of my life. How could one ever say goodbye to John? From the first time I sat in his office, as a single woman, at the behest of my two best friends, who also were his patients, I knew he would be my friend, Dr and social guru for life. He guided me through 2 pregnancies, one fetal demise, and my first diagnosis of breast cancer. He was professional when needed, your best friend when needed and your source of comedy always.

He was from Los Angeles, as my family is, and my mom and he were talking one day and they both realized they were delivered by the same OB.

He was such an integral part of my life, there for all the most tender times, its hard to believe he's gone.
I will think about him all the rest of my days and be ever so grateful for his concern and care for me , I don't want to be selfish, but I felt like he was all mine. I guess that's just what a fantastic Doctor, person and friend he was.
Rest in peace John, you made my life so much better.
Shelley Hutchison
February 6, 2017
Dr. Girard was the only ObGyn that ever made me feel comfortable at the doctor's office. He always went out of his way to make me smile and laugh. He was a great man. I am so very sorry for your loss.
Leonie S
January 23, 2017
I am shocked! I was one of Dr Girard's first patients back in the 70's...He delivered my baby boy who is now 31...Dr Girard always made me laugh, even when things were difficult.
R.I.P. Dr Girard
Love,
Dorothy, Greg & Tyler Slauson
Dorothy Slauson
March 14, 2016
It's been tough to accept John Girard's passing, and I've labored over this remembrance for as long as absolutely possible. I would be failing him, however, if I don't get these thoughts in as a remembrance. He was a calming, trusted advisor to me during some of the most difficult times of my life.

He was a true physician, who collected the facts, performed analysis, and then selected a course of action sometimes immediate, at others a conservative watchful and wait approach. In 1977 after an all night vigil and attempts at inducing labor he delivered my daughter by C-Section. Amazingly patient, Dr. Girard monitored my ovarian cysts judiciously for eleven years until they became problematic when he removed them. Dr. Girard was the first doctor, (and still my only doctor) who took the time to sit down in his office and talk with each patient before an exam, treating us like a people, not just patients.

Clearly he cared enough about each of us enough to build a level of trust so that when the time came, and we needed his help to make a judgment about some really life changing issue, we knew we could talk with him, and trust him to give us an honest answer.

Dr. Girard and I learned during one of my early visits that we both attended high school in the same city, although he graduated about the same time as my brother, a few years ahead of me. So we talked about our hometown, as opposed to our Bay Area lives and the connections in each.

He listened to all my ups and downs, and we shared stories and advice on parenting experiences during my annual visits. I, like one of the other writers here, was concerned, selfishly so, that he would retire, and "horrors" we would need to see someone else! I He had such a terrific sense of humor, that at times would surface unexpectedly to make me laugh, especially during those tough times when I really needed to. Sometimes Dr. Girard was serious and I'd think he was joking, and would need to confirm by asking, "You're serious aren't you", like the time he marched into the labor room and told me that he needed to deliver my baby by C-Section?

I told him of trying to get my little girl to sleep at night, and he told me of his strong-willed little girl, and how she would swing over the side of her crib, and get to the door because she just wasn't ready for bedtime. We both felt coldhearted, he especially so I think when he found her later, sound asleep on the floor just inside the door of her room. We both knew that it was harder on us to not come running than for our offspring frustrated, but safe, in their own room.

When they were grown-up we commiserated over our children with dreams of filmmaking, because we were concerned about what a tough career it is, and "Did they have health insurance?" He also, was kind enough to see my daughter as a patient when she returned to the Bay Area from New York, and I was determined to get her in to see gynecologist. She was so proud that the doctor who delivered her was such a great doctor, such a special person, and that he would now see her as a patient.

Once years ago, as I exited the building elevator heading down the hallway toward the Dr.'s Berkeley office, another woman was entering and she asked if I was going to see Dr. Girard. She was a perfect stranger to me, but she felt strongly enough after her appointment to say to me, "He is really such a special person isn't he?"

I figured out long ago that both he and his brother are two people who were blessed to find their "true calling" in life, and in turn they were willing to share their gifts with us. Dr. Girard and I discussed the world of medicine, the training of today's physicians, and, oh, how the world of medicine has changed. We will so miss him. He set a pretty high standard for any doctor who I met afterwards, no matter what their specialty.

I know that he was devastated at the loss of Katie, and I hope that he has found the solace that he was seeking after her loss.

To his children, his brother, and close family and friends, thank you for allowing us to share this great man, who gave so much of himself.

Kathleen
Oakland
Kathleen Daniels
March 9, 2016
John was a wonderful doctor and friend to so many of us. He was not only my ob but also my primary doctor for over 35 years. He delivered all three of my children even giving me his personal phone number so I could call him when I went into labor in the event he was not on call.
That's just the way he was, always available for any of his patients when they needed him.
I still feel he is watching over me. Just before his death he found an abnormality in one of my exams that is still being monitored. I think of him every time I go for a follow up. Had he not been so insistent I would not have had any idea of the potential danger. Thank you Dr Girard for still watching over all of us.
Victoria Johnson
March 9, 2016
I was so fortunate to work side by side with Dr John. When he would walk into the OR there was no messing around. We went to work and did it in short order. He had a wonderful sense of humor and subtle at times . He would teach anatomy sometimes as we worked. A fabulous human being to be sure. His patients loved him and he them. A kinder man you would not meet. Rest easy Dr Rest easy.
Jill bonifield
January 13, 2016
Thanks to all of you who have shared memories and condolences. Each entry I read brings him back to life for me, and that is an incredible gift. Especially in recent years/months, he was always his very happiest at work among the patients he so completely adored. Thank you all for loving him and keeping his memory alive.
xo
John's (proud) daughter, Nicole
Nicole Kennedy
January 5, 2016
I found out about Dr Girard's passing about 3 weeks after he passed. I visited the office today and saw the remembrance tribute with his photo and burst into tears in the waiting room. I miss him so much. He would walk out and escort me to his office to talk before my exams. I looked forward to my visits with him. He was an awesome Doctor and an awesome friend. RIP Dr Girard.
Cynthia Roy
November 8, 2015
Gentle. Kind. Attentive. Genuine. Quirky. And oh so funny. At the age of 18, I found the very best in Dr. Girard and felt so fortunate to have had him in my life. That was 38 years ago, myriad single girl issues and three babies later. Having moved out of the country 5 years ago, I remember asking his reassurance that he would still be practicing when I return. As he leaned across his desk with that twinkle in his eye and his crooked grin replied "I'm not going anywhere". I am deeply saddened and send love and condolences to his family, your father has touched many and paid it forward thousandfold.
Brenda Horne
October 21, 2015
I just this minute learned of Dr. Girard's death and I am heartbroken. Dr. Girard was by far the best -- and certainly the most enjoyable -- health care provider I've had in my 49 years. I have wonderfully funny stories about the things he said to me during my pregnancy; things I will never forget and love to share with people. He was a perfect match for my personality and had both a dry and affectionate sense of humor. I remember when he poked his head into my room after I delivered my only child 12 years ago. He said something hilarious and went on his way. I always enjoyed our office chats before my exams. I'm so sorry he is gone and send my deepest condolences to his family, community, colleagues, and patients.
Noël Plummer
October 21, 2015
I recently moved back to the Bay Area. My oldest child gave birth to my first grand child yesterday. Reminiscing about my own birthing experiences, I Googled my favorite doctor, OB/GYN, Dr. John Girard. My heart was saddened to read of his passing last February. I found it very coincidental that I happened to be reading it on what would have been his 72 birthday.

Dr. Girard was my hero. I had one of THE most crazy pregnancy histories. He was there to hold my hand each time. My first child was a heartbreaking stillbirth. Dr. Girard gave me the confidence to try again. My second child arrived at 28 weeks gestation. Once again, Dr. Girard helped me through this scary time. My third child was two weeks overdue. Dr. Girard championed my desire to have a VBAC and was there through the long, late hours to make this happen. I will never forget his humor while I labored away and he helped me laugh through the pain. He told me that when he and his twin were born, his mother wanted names that did not rhyme and therefore named them John and Donald.

I will never forget the twinkle in his eye, his gentle and kind bedside manner. I am grateful for the healthy three children that I have and owe their lives to Dr. Girard's excellent care.
Jody Hurlock (Johnston)
October 13, 2015
Today, I learned of the passing of Dr. Girard. I don't think I can express how saddened I am. I met him 40 years ago when I moved to the area and was looking for a new doctor. He then delivered all 3 of my children. I always looked forward to visiting with him during my appointments as he would sit with me and wanted to know everything that was going on. I felt he was a friend and not my doctor.
Anna Cohen
June 2, 2015
We are so sad to hear of the passing of this wonderful man.
the Cardiff Family
May 19, 2015
Today I found out that Dr. Girard is no longer with us. I don't have the words to express how sad I feel. I met him 10 years ago in the ER, he saved my life when he removed a tumor from my stomach. I became a patient of his and I will be eternally grateful for having met such a wonderful caring doctor. He had so much kindness and I miss him tremendously.
Karen Norris
May 15, 2015
I just learned tonight of Dr. Girard's passing and send my deepest condolences to his family. Dr. Girard welcomed me into his practice in 1988 in my 8th month of pregnancy with my first child, after having relocated from SoCal. Needless to say, it was a very anxious time - moving, changing doctors in the 11th hour, and the apprehension of giving birth for the first time. We quickly established a trusting and personal doc-patient relationship. When I went into labor, thank goodness Dr. Girard was on call - he spent the next 36 hours helping me and my husband through it. He had other patients to see that weekend, but he made us feel like we were the only ones. His gentle demeanor, humor and fatherly compassion endeared us to him even more. When he delivered our son, we jokingly (but half seriously) considered giving him John as a middle name.

My relationship with Dr. Girard continued over the next 20 years with him as my gynecologist, obstetrician for our daughter, and medical confidante. He always asked about the kids and my husband, and truly cared about hearing the news. As a doctor, he was so down to earth, always took the time to really listen, to advise and to go the extra mile to find an answer if needed. As a human being, he made me feel like an old friend and I felt like I could talk to him about anything. He was one of a kind and set the bar impossibly high. Dear Dr. Girard, you will be deeply missed, We were so fortunate and honored to have been a part of your patient family.
Linda Dorn
May 14, 2015
Hello, I am Dr. H Beernink's daughter, and
"H" was a very protective father, but when it came time for me to seek a gynecologist, he recommended John Girard, and this guy made a mark on my life, medically and as a guide for my future family. I used to pass him in Piedmont jogging in the morning and he always had a high-five greeting. Blessings to the family and everyone he had such a powerful positive impact on.
May 5, 2015
I just learned of Dr Girard passing and am heartbroken. I have been a patient of his for 15+ years. He was kind and compassionate. What a terrific man and doctor. He always had a kind word and took the time to sit and really check in before each appointment. My condolences to his family. He will be missed.
April 28, 2015
Jon, as we knew him in high school, was a great guy. He was next to me in right field, me in center. Loved this guy, fabulous sense of humor, laid back, delightful demeanor, class act all the way. Bruce Howe Webb '62.
Bruce Howe
April 14, 2015
I was broken hearted to learn of Johns passing. I worked with him in his Berkeley office hen he first established his practice at Berkeley Women's Health. He was personally responsible for "forcing" me to go to nursing school which afforded me 25 yrs of practice in the area of Labor and Delivery. He delivered all 4 of my children the first 2 a "surprise" set of identical twins! Did we ever have laughs about that for 37yrs!!! I will always remember him for the wonderful, gentle, compassionate man that he was. The world is a little sadder for me now, but he was an inspiration to me in many ways. I will miss our talks greatly. I hope knowing that he had such an effect on so many people will help you all with the sadness I know you are feeling.
Lynn Blackstock
March 28, 2015
Dr Girard was a wonderful person I had the privilege of working with him in Orinda as well as being his patient. It breaks my heart to hear of his passing.
Clara Rivera
March 13, 2015
I want your children to know how extraordinary in so many ways you have been to your patients. I first met John Girard in the ER at Alta Bates in 1976. His compassion and goofy sense of humor got me through a very tough time. Subsequently, I was so fortunate to have him as my OB/GYN throughout my pregnancies and delivery of my two sons. I will never forget that he showed up for Daniel's birth when Dr. Nishimine was on call. The two of them were having dinner in Orinda and when Dr. Girard heard I was on my way to the hospital, he showed up and said of course I would be there for you.

Your father was so moved with compassion when he had to share some difficult news that my second child may have some birth defects and could possibly be stillborn. I will always remember your dad holding my hand for a very long time and waiting for me to say I was ready to leave the office.

Thank you for all the times you shared him with patients like me. I am forever grateful to you and him for the difference he's made in my life.
Kate Gaines
March 12, 2015
I am having a difficult time putting this into words, this man meant so much to me. He not saved my life in 1980 when 4 other doctors could not agree on my problem, he delivered my 3 children and was a social friend as well. After my divorce and move from the East Bay I decided to commute back to see him annually....on my first visit back he rushed into the waiting room took my hand and walked me to his office.
He has taken care of my sister, and all of my girls when problems arose.
We have lost a mentor, friend, long time doctor and the most special man I have known.
He was hands down the very best of everything :) He would laugh if he heard me say that, but it's true.
I will keep him close to my heart for the rest of my life.
Barbara Anderton
March 12, 2015
Dr. Girard was that unique doctor who patients (like me) looked on as a dear friend. I actually looked forward to my appointments. He cared about his patients' bodies and minds. He made us laugh. Even while having a baby! What a hole there is in the Dr. World.
Sharon Ardoin, Oakland, CA
Sharon Ardoin
March 11, 2015
I just learned of Dr. Girard's death. Without a doubt Dr. Girard was the best doctor I have ever seen. From the first time I met him, I knew he was special. He showed such genuine concern for my health and well being. I feel lucky to have had him as a doctor. I will never forget the care he gave me and any future Ob/Gyn I see will have a lot to live up to. My prayers go out to his family, friends, patients, and coworkers.
Allyse F
March 7, 2015
I am his first born, his daughter, and hearing these stories about those who knew and loved him as a doctor, a friend, a confidante are so wonderful and reassuring. His touch was gentle and his reach was broad. Thank you for sharing....God bless, Daddy.
March 6, 2015
I recently learned of Dr. Girard's passing and needless to say, I am very sad and shocked. He is the BEST Doctor I have ever had.
He understood all my concerns and never rushed through our appointments. He made me feel as though it was a social visit rather than a physical exam.
There will NEVER be another Doctor that could ever match up to his standards.
I use to tell him....don't ever retire without letting me know because I can't think about losing you as my doctor. WoW! I never thought that this could ever happen. He died doing what he loved and I commend him for having a passion in his work ....a lot of us could only imagine.
I will miss you Dr. Girard. I will NEVER forget you!
Cynthia Vegh-Whisnant
March 3, 2015
I am so sad to hear about the passing of John Girard. Although I hadn't seen him for many years, I have such fond and wonderful memories of him. He was a friend and colleague. I worked with him in Labor and Delivery at Alta Bates Hospital and always looked forward to his kind, gentle and funny personality. He was one of the very best OB-GYNS in the Bay Area. He loved his work and was always respectful and supportive of his patients and to the Alta Bates staff.
John, you will be greatly missed.
My deepest condolences to John's family.
Lynn Polon
March 3, 2015
Rev. Moana Meadow, Health Care Chaplain
Dr. Girard was my genealogical hero. Other women my age were often shocked that I chose to see a male, rather than female doctor, but I have never in my life met someone more caring, thoughtful, thorough, or ego-less in the doctor's chair. He spent an hour with me every time I saw him, first chatting with me in his office, catching up on my family affairs, sharing his own joys and sorrows, and then covering educational points during my exam.

When I needed a more complicated procedure, he let my spouse stay with me and hold my hand; when I was concerned about insurance costs he found low-cost codes to use in place of the usual ones. When I had no primary care doctor, he performed my annual physicals and prescribed my asthma medications.

The last time I saw him, I was preparing for my first pregnancy, and he supported all my choices (no medical testing, home birth, etc.), giving me tips for quick conception success! When I shared concerns about lead levels, he quickly consulted all the OBs in the office to see if any of them knew more, and then proclaimed his desire to learn what he perceived as a blind spot in their communal training.

I conceived shorty before his death, and wanted to call him to share the news (I had his personal cell number, probably like others here!). I'm sorry I missed that chance. Bless you John Girard, and all your family, friends, and coworkers!
Moana Meadow
March 2, 2015
Saturday, Feb. 28th its a given that Dr. Girard was looking down on his celebration of life and beaming with pride as his four adult children shared their loving memories of him as their dad! Each and every one of them spoke from their heart and you could tell it wasn't easy as they miss him so much already. It was truly touching as well as the rest of family who shared with everyone their life with John. It was wonderful to see the slide show with pictures of John and his twin Don growing up and then pictures of the rest of his charmed life. So sad that he had to be taken so soon. My husband and I met Dr. Girard 35 plus years ago as he delivered our son Scott who is now 35 and he would have delivered Kelly but was not on call at the time. Everyone who has signed this guest book has got it "spot on" about what a great, caring man and doctor he was and always made you feel very special. He was so very proud of all of his family too as he would mention each and every one of them when I would ask about them at my annual visit, after he would ask about my family. He was "the best", "one of a kind" and I will never forget him. My sympathy to all of his family and friends. I'm sure it was somewhat comforting to see so many of John's friends, patients, colleagues, staff and others their to honor John as he so well deserved it!
Linda McNevin
March 1, 2015
I was so fortunate to meet Dr. Girard 29 years ago this Spring. Three daughters and many years later, I always looked forward to my yearly appointment,in part because he was infinitely kind and attentive, generous with his time and utterly devoted to his patients and his work. I was so sad to hear that he lost his beloved wife two years ago; they deserved so many more years of happiness together. Dr. Girard, you will be missed terribly. I wish I could have thanked you for all the years of care.
Laura Truffaut
February 28, 2015
Dear dear John Girard--truly a special person. An attentive, funny, thorough, kindly physician who would work WITH me to arrive at a safe solution, with my wishes and health attended to with the best medical insight. What will we all do now? My thoughts are with your family. The photo doesn't do justice to that twinkle in your eyes. It was with sadness that I saw that twinkle fade after your dear wife passed on. May you be at peace now.
Nancy McKay
February 27, 2015
I am so sad to hear about Girard's passing...he was an incredible and caring doctor who spent so much time with each patient and truly cared about those of us lucky enough to have been on his watch. I will never forget his expression of joy, and then tears, when I delivered a baby girl after having 2 rambunctious boys. He was truly a gift and an incredible doctor who will be missed by so many. He simply cannot be replaced.
February 27, 2015
It was my honor to know Dr. Girard for the most important years of my life. It was always wonderful to see him and I am heartbroken he is gone. I pray that he is at peace and once again his amazing & cheerful self.
He will be missed.
Cathy Barber
February 25, 2015
Dr. Girard delivered my first child, Scott, in 1976. He was on call the night of Scott's delivery and I knew when I met him that I was the luckiest patient ever!! And how true that was! For the last 39 years, he has been such a supporter of my whole family! Always worried about how everyone was doing -- remembering all of the little details in our lives. He saw no distinction between patient and friend. If you were a patient, he was your friend. I always tried to reserve the first appointment in the morning or the one immediately after lunch -- because he spent so much time with his patients, not only treating them but just talking with them, that his schedule ran late -- not just some days but every day. After a while, I became aware that the office staff and his other patients knew that too. What a treat to have him as my doctor, confidante and wise advisor. And we, his patients, also helped and supported him. He loved not only medicine but the patients and his personal relationships with all of us. I feel as though I have lost a member of my family.
Carolyn Plutzik
February 25, 2015
Dr. Girard delivered my youngest son and was my gynecologist for a quarter century. When I nearly lost Steven at 7 months pregnant, he calmed me down and gave me a message of hope when all around me, the "specialists" were predicting the worst. For a month of hospital bed rest, he visited all but one day, sometimes twice, and held my hand and reassured me that all would be well. Once, he dressed down the nurses for ignoring me when I had asked for utensils to eat a hot dinner delivered from Trader Vic's; it sat on the bedstand for 45 minutes because no one would respond to my call, and it's the only time I've seen him angry--furious, in fact. Steven was born, as he predicted, perfectly healthy, although a month early. I have never forgotten his kindness and caring, and I always looked forward to my annual visits. It nearly killed him in 2013 when he had to deliver the news that my lump was cancerous--I think he felt worse than I did.
I never had the chance to say goodbye, but he holds a place of honor in my heart. To his family, my deepest regards and condolences. He will be misssed!
Hatti Hamlin
February 25, 2015
I absolutely adored John Girard. He delivered two of my three children and being with him was a pleasure. He had a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face. Wonderful man. One day i was in the Seattle airport and I saw him. I was surprised he ignored me. Turns out it was his twin. John loved it when I told him.
Carolyn Sertich
February 24, 2015
In memory of Dr. Girard. An extraordinary individual. Doctor was just a title. He was my go to for 20 years. He was my 1 man cheering squad; he delivered both of my children; he was a friend of 20 years; we shared griefs and triumphs; we hugged and cried it out, sometimes for him and sometimes for me. This world is a bit less than for not having him in it. There is solace in knowing that he is now with his beloved wife. He was never quite the same after losing her.

So to you John, go be with those you love, and know that your kindness, loving care and humor will forever be in our hearts and souls, never to be forgotten or taken for granted. You are one of the special ones!

Kirsten Embree~ Danville
February 24, 2015
Dr.Girard, thank you for being a wonderful doctor. Unlike many other patients of yours, I only saw you twice in the last few years. When looking for a new OBY/GN and calling your office, your staff answered, oh, he is wonderful and you will be very happy. She was so right. Immediately after I saw you in your office, I could tell that you were a deeply caring and the warmest doctor and human being. Just thinking about making this year's appointment, I received the letter to learn that I would not be able to see you. It helps me cope with the tremendous sadness by reading Dr. Donald Girard, your brother's thoughts and many others'. My condolences to your entire family and staff.
Miyuki Tada
February 24, 2015
John was, from the very beginning, a fast friend and special person, full of charm and good humor,,, wise and kind hearted, always a joy to be with. In 1957, he and his inseparable twin Don were "mighty fine boys", the pride of their parents and Alhambra, they were as bright as they were hard working and diligent. His teachers and classmates loved him, they gave him high marks---we will all miss him and the times we might have had as senior citizens, while finding strength in remembrances of all the excitement we had as teenagers in Claremont, the Grand Canyon, and the San Juan Islands.

Dodd
February 24, 2015
I am so sad to hear of dr. Gerard's passing. He was my doctor for 35 years. So kind and compassionate. When my 3rd son was born with Down syndrome he held my hand and cried with me, but also encouraged me that I could handle this new "job". i will miss him greatly.
Julie Sodestrom
February 24, 2015
Dr. Girard's love of babies was infectious! He delivered my 2nd son - the experience was so special. Dr. Girard had the lights in the delivery room turned low so that my baby's first look at his world didn't involve squinting from the bright lights! Then my son looked at me, his brown eyes so wide, so sweet. I don't need a photo of the moment, because it's forever in my mind. A light has gone out in our world. Sending deep sympathy to his family.
Hlma Jones
February 24, 2015
Dr. Girard was such a wonderful, caring, soothing man. He always put you at ease and made the appt. feel like it was more a social meeting than an actual Dr.'s appt. I am so shocked and saddened by his passing. You will be greatly missed.
Tammy Rieser
February 23, 2015
I am so sad to hear of Dr. Girard's passing. He always felt like a good friend, rather than just my doctor & I actually looked forward to seeing him. I used to call KQED talk shows & he'd remember this & ask, "Are you THE Greta from Kensington"? Why yes that's me. He was always more than a good doctor, he was sincere, caring & an expert at what he did. I will never forget you.. Dr. Girard. Greta Sholachman
February 23, 2015
I am still in shock of hearing of Dr. Girard's passing. I always looked forward to my visits with him - he truly made me feel like a friend, not a patient. The memories of him will live on in my heart.
Debbie Uchida
February 23, 2015
I just met Dr. Girard last year and I think he is the best doctor I have ever met. Funny, gentle and kind. Oh that more doctors could be like him. Please accept my sympathies as I am sure all that knew him will miss him. Dolores Duffin
February 23, 2015
I received a letter today telling me of Dr. Girard's death. I simply cannot express how sad I am. I have known Dr. Girard since 1979 when he became my doctor. He always treated me with respect, gentle caring and his wonderful sense of humor. Prayers to his family. Rest in Peace, Dr. Girard, I miss you. Louise Riedell
Louise Riedell
February 23, 2015
John was so much more than a physician. His sense of empathy and caring was amazing and so well balanced with his humor. He knew how to put things in perspective. He was an example of the best of what a doctor can be. My deepest sympathy to his family, I felt I got to know them through his stories over the many years.
Ruth Thornburg
February 23, 2015
Dr. Girard was a wonderful doctor and counselor. He was always so kind to me and my wife as we went through everything from getting our marriage license signed, having our children and getting through this journey. He was exceptional, and his memory is a blessing. Love to his family, you were always in his heart and he shared your stories with us.
Anna Hoffman
February 23, 2015
I am shocked and filled with sadness. Dr. Girard was an incredible doctor, but beyond that, he was an incredible human being. I know his heart had been heavy these past few years, missing his Katie Rose. I can only hope that they have been reunited and his funny, caring spirit is lifted and light again. I love you, Dr. Girard, for being a great doctor, for catching my breast cancer early, for your twinkling eyes and gentle spirit, for taking such great care of me, during two pregnancies and one miserable menopause, over these many years. I shall miss your smile and reassuring words. To quote you: "You're a good kid!" Godspeed and God bless you always. Kathryn S.
Kathryn Sibley
February 23, 2015
This calm voice of reason and logic will be greatly missed. I will remember him coming into the room to deliver my daughter and hearing the snap of his gloves and the crinkle of the starch In his blue shirt (which complimented his kind eyes, by the way) followed by his calm voice as he prepared me for delivery. As a side note to Danielle: we always talked about what I was reading while at my annual visit and we usually ended talking about your books which I always enjoy reading. He was a proud father and an amazing doctor.
Alexis Schroeder
February 23, 2015
I just returned from vacation and learned of Dr. Girard's passing. I am heartbroken as I was scheduled to see him this month. He was a wonderful, caring and compassionate person. My sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Giard May he rest in peace.
Theresa Edwards
February 19, 2015
John was truly one of the kindest, caring individuals I have been fortunate to know these past 25 years. He will be deeply missed.
Laurie Hoyt
February 18, 2015
Dr. Girard was a very sensitive, warm and funny doctor who gave his patients very personalized care. The first time I met him in 1990 he had to tell us that we were going to have a miscarriage. He was very understanding and took a lot of time with us. He later delivered our children and I've been his patient ever since. We have twins so he told me many entertaining stories about him and his identical twin brother. He is irreplaceable and will be greatly missed, my deepest sympathy to his entire family.
Joan Lucas
February 17, 2015
I was so very saddened to see the passing of this wonderful human being and doctor. He was, in addition to being the best doctor I've ever had, one of the most sensitive and caring of men. He was not afraid to cry and be sad for me when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 or share in my joy at the birth of my daughter in 1989. I feel so privileged to have met and known him. He will be sorely missed by all. My best to his family and other patients. He cannot be replaced.
P. Linder
February 17, 2015
We were so sadden to hear of Dr. Girard's death. He delivered our two children in 1976 and 1979. He was a wonderful person and will be missed by all who knew him.
Steve and Darlene Fleming
February 16, 2015
I met Dr Girard when I was just 22 he had just started in the Berkeley practice and my Mother brought me to see Dr Paige and since he was retiring I went to Dr Girard he also found my Breast cancer 24 yrs ago !! I am so saddened as he was such a HUGE part of my early life Love to Dr Girards Family Rita Warren
RITA WARREN
February 16, 2015
I will miss, Dr. Girard. He was one of a kind-a truly excellent doctor, a real friend, and he ALWAYS made me laugh. I am honored to have been his patient and friend for 35+ years. RIP. My condolences to his children, brother and family. I am so very sorry for your loss.
Barbara Sundahl
February 16, 2015
I am very saddened to hear of this news. John delivered our daughter and if not for a long labor and hospital shift change, would have delivered our son as well. He was a wonderful human being and an amazing doctor in whom we had complete trust. His sense of humor was calming and delightful, and I always left his office with a smile on my face. Our condolences go out to the family--he will be truly missed.
Vel Snider
February 16, 2015
I am so saddened to hear of John's passing. We met in the Alta Bates ER in 1975; my mother used to say that he save my life.
I was privileged to be among those with whom John shared his calming humor. He was a confidante and buddy. I enjoyed his proudly shared stories about his children, about his curmudgeonly Piedmont neighbor and about his joy in loving Katie.

I recently expressed my concern to him that he might retire soon. He replied that he would die in the saddle. Happy trails John.
Mary Lou Bonkofsky-Carter
February 16, 2015
I'm very sorry to hear this, my prayers are with his family and friends. I know this is difficult time
daphne garrard
February 15, 2015
My wife, Susan Butenhoff, and I are so very shocked and saddened to hear of Dr. Girard's passing. He delivered both of our children as well at Alta Bates'96 & '00. He was a truly kind a caring person, and I will never ever forget the moment my daughter was born and standing next to John as he instructed me on how to cut her chord. So gentle and reassuring. He will be missed. Our sympathies to his family. RIP John.
Christian Mani
February 15, 2015
I worked with Dr. At Alta Bates in the operating room. I loved his calm manner and I always loved to spend my Monday mornings with him. He and Dr Nishimini would work together. What a great way to start my week. I loved his dry sense of humor. He would make me laugh at inappropriate times but I just couldn't help myself. I'll bet he did it on purpose just to hear me laugh. I always felt his patients respected him and trusted him completely. That's the way medicine should be. You will be so missed by so many in the Bay Area. Rest easy, Dr John. Rest easy
Jill Bonifield
February 15, 2015
So very sad to hear of Dr Girard's passing, he delivered botth of my children in the 89's and took care of me over the years. He was a friend as well as an amazing doctor... the medical community and the world has lost a great man.. my condolemces to his family, whe he loved dearly and to all who knew him
Pat Wolf
February 15, 2015
He was and is my twin brother. The gloom of his death was assuaged by the scores of friends, patients, colleagues who came to see him, be with him and thank him. He was the quintessential professional in his practice and the best as a father and twin brother. His legacy is spectacular. Who could ask for anything more? Don Girard
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